Smart Home

Finding an apartment to rent is as easy as hitting "Send" with Trulia's new Facebook Messenger bot

facebook messenger launches trulia apartment hunting bot trulia1
The list of what Facebook Messenger can do for you just got a little longer. Less than a month after offering users instant access to articles, the not-just-a-messaging-service service is now offering instant apartment searches through a partnership with the online real estate site, Trulia.

Users can start finding rentals immediately by messaging the Trulia bot just like you would any other friend. For example, check out the following exchange:


But with the plethora of ways to search for an apartment these days, is Trulia as convenient as it looks? We tried it and… well, it is. The results come quickly, with browsing made simple with a swift swipe to the left. Clicking “Get a Summary” under the featured image for each property gives you more photos and details on the space. Though there was a slight inconvenience which immediately stood out to us: If you want to check out more properties on your results list, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of scrolling back up. Searching multiple areas of a city also doesn’t seem to be an option for now.

What makes Trulia particularly stand out is its ability to provide information on the neighborhood, including average age of renters in the area and, even more importantly, crime rates from Very Low to Very High.

Be warned, however, as the convenience of the instant message apartment hunt could be hazardous to your productivity. Renters who aren’t even actively looking for a new place might spend hours searching homes in their dream neighborhood (and out of their ideal price range).

Or start obsessing over how one neighborhood’s crime rates stack up against others.

Or cause ridiculous fantasies about finding your next Tinder-like hookup.

Actually, if this Trulia blog post from 2013 is any indication, that last proposal will surely be an actual feature in no time.

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